Tag Archives: goal setting

New Year’s Resolutions: Have you abandoned yours already?

If you’ve fallen off the ‘goal’ wagon already, you’re not alone.  People often make resolutions for the new year and them drop them – some, almost immediately.

Last night at a networking event, I asked several people if they had made New Year’s resolution.  One woman responded to the question with a shameful roll of her eyes.  I knew immediately that she had made at least one resolution, but was feeling guilty because, in her mind, she had broken her promise to herself and we weren’t even ten days into the new year.

There are several problems with New Year’s resolutions, so let’s address those problems and design solutions for them.

Problem #1 – Many resolutions are spontaneous & inauthentic

You’re at a New Year’s Eve party, the clock strikes midnight, everyone kisses their date, raises their glass for a toast and then someone blurts out a resolution.  Not to be outdone, someone else makes one.

Soon the whole crowd is making ‘promises’, you’re caught up in the moment and before you know it, you’ve made one too.

Three days later, there you are thinking “Why on earth did I way that?!?!?  Maybe no one will remember.”

Many people get trapped in just the same way.

Even  if you are more deliberate about your resolutions, you can sill lose your focus pretty quickly if you don’t implement the ideas laid out here.

Solution #1 – Know your Dream Destination

Whether you were sincere and thoughtful or just excited and off-the-cuff, step back and consider how you want your entire life to turn out.  Think of how your life would look and feel if, ten years hence, things had gone far beyond your wildest dreams.  Create a long-term context for your life and your year-to-year resolutions will have more meaning and staying power.

Problem #2 – No structure

Attitudes and behaviors shape our lives.  When you make a resolution, figure out which new behaviors you’ll need to incorporate in order for that resolution to become a reality.  If you want to lose weight, don’t delude yourself into thinking that because you’ve said so that it will happen.  You have to change your eating habits and become more physically active (but you probably already know that).

Solution #2 – Calendarize those supportive actions

Figure out when you’re going to exercise and mark the days and times on your calendar.  Plan exactly which day you’re going spend with your children and/or spouse if you’ve committed to more family time.  Decide exactly what you’re going to do differently to rip yourself away from the office.  Then stick to it.

Tell people what you’re committing to.

Because…

Most of us are better at delivering on commitments we’ve made to others than those we’ve made to ourselves.

Problem #3 – No support

We fall off the wagon for a variety of reasons.  Often it’s because our fears kick in.  Sometimes, it’s our own inertia.  Incorporating new behaviors into our daily life is upsetting on some level.  And our brains will come of with clever reasons (excuses) why now isn’t a good time to get started.

Solution #3 – Get an accountability partner

Tell someone else about your resolution, especially those that stand to benefit from your new behaviors.  Pick someone who kind of scares you, who won’t let you off the hook easily when you come up with those rational-sounding excuses, er uh, reasons.

If you incorporate these simple ideas I’ve laid out here, you’ll dramatically increase your chances for success in realizing your resolutions.

Goal Setting and New Year’s Resolutions

Goal setting and New Year’s Resolutions: how are they connected?

In my Fox10 interview, I spoke with Rick D’Amico about how to give New Year’s resolutions staying power so they (and your resolve) last longer than a New York minute.

Here are a few tips from the video, but I encourage you to watch the 5-minute clip.

1.  Use SMART goals.  Be clear and specific. Quantify the end result (lose 10 pounds by March 15)

2.  Be realistic – Start with something you believe you could achieve.  Don’t set your sights so high that your subconscious mind says “no way”.

3.  Be in action – Rita Mae Brown said the definition of insanity is “Doing the same thing expecting a different result”. Start consistently doing the behaviors that support the goal you have set.

4.  Be connected – Get an accountability partner or coach; take a class.  Surround yourself with people who will encourage you to stay on task and on track.

Check out these goal setting resources.  They’re on sale **50% off** through Saturday Jan 3. (Enter code NYRBO at check-out time.)

Also, take time to reward yourself when you hit milestones that let you know you’re on your way to that Big, Bold Goal you set.

Strive to Arrive and Thrive

I’m pictured here with Brittanee Perkins, the 2009 Miss Black Arizona (and former Band student of my husband, Karl) along with Rozan Latham, Miss Black Teen Arizona.

I attended the Phoenix Black Chamber Awards Banquet last week and noticed two ‘princesses’ walking through the crowd. Then said to myself, “Hey I know one of those princesses!” So I want over to congratulate them.

One of the first things Brittannee said was “Wish us luck!” I said, ‘Luck? For what? You just won!’

She replied, “We’re going to compete at Nationals!”

Forward progress depends on goals. What will you strive for next year?

Here are some tips to help you get on your way:

Release your limits & let go of negative thinking

We often talk ourselves out of ‘going for it’ before we even begin.  We think we can’t so we don’t try.  They guess what?  We won’t!

Consult your heart & unleash your dreams

Your heart knows best.  Your brain will try to talk you out of your dreams in order to ‘protect’ you from failure. Don’t listen to it.

Lay out a plan

You can’t just snap your fingers and make it so.  You need to figure out the steps to reach your goal.

Get the resources you need

Don’t try to do it alone.  You’ll exhaust yourself.  There are people around you who want to help and who would love to participate with you in some way.  Take classes if you need more knowledge.  Outsource as much as you can

Get to work

As one of my clients, John Ficorelli, sales executive extraordinaire, said “It’s one thing to have a plan.  It’s quite another to actually execute it!”

Take some time over the holiday season to intentionally dream and plan for next year.  Extract yourself from the hustle-bustle and give yourself a gift – the highest, best future you are meant to live.

Did you do your best?

I don’t watch a lot of game shows, but one I do enjoy is “Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?  Based on that show, I am NOT smarter than a 5th grader – at least not now.

A week or so ago, I saw an episode of rerun that had brought tears to my eyes when it was first on the air and even though I knew the outcome, I watched it again.

The contestant was Cathy Cox, the State Superintendent of Schools for the State of Georgia.

You would hope that if anyone would be smarter than a 5th grader, it would be her. For those of you who have never seen the show, contestants are given questions to answer from various 5th grade subjects like U.S. history, geography, math, etc. They have a team of actual 5th grade students available to help them out when their confidence wanes.

The money Cathy would win would go to the schools of Georgia, not to her personally as in many episodes. She did a great job correctly answering each of the questions without the assistance of her young team mates.  She got all the way through the subjects and was then faced with answering the $1 million dollar question which she would have to do on her own.

If she missed it, she would take only $25K rather than the $500K she had accumulated. It was a big gamble. The stakes were high as was the tension in the studio.

Cathy decided to go for it.  The $1 million question was presented and she wasn’t positive of the answer. She reasoned it through, came up with her best guess and then right before she “locked it in”, she said “I did my best”.

Do you do your best?  Do you do your homework before a big meeting?  Do you think clearly and weigh the pros and cons of your decision?  Do you think big?  Do you dare to dream?  Do you trust your instinct and then act courageously?  Do you give everything your best shot?

Cathy did and she took $1 million dollars back to Georgia!  (My eyes are welling up again, just thinking about it.)

The audience cheered, hooped and hollered.  The 5th graders rushed to her side and lots of hugs and kisses and high 5s were exchanged.